Re: A question on palatalization.
|Date:||Thursday, January 2, 2003, 6:58|
Christophe Grandsire wrote:
>For instance, if your language already has phonemic palatals, maybe [t_j] won't
>turn into [c]. But then, languages don't seem to mind much abandoning
>distinctions, so this is no absolute no-no...
>I know I have no problems with the fact that 'tune' starts with /tS/
and 'dune' and 'June' are identical for me.
However, /nj/ remains as /nj/ (in words like 'news'). Is /nj/ less
likely to change? (Though come to think of it, the /n/ in 'new' is
pronounced further back than the /n/ in 'noon' or 'need'.)
>On the same example, if the
>language doesn't have any postalveolar fricative ([S]), maybe [t_j] will turn
>anyway into [c], despite the confusion resulting, because if it evolved into
>the affricate [t_S], it would create a solitary postalveolar affricate without
>a corresponding fricative, and as far as I know it's probably very rare
>But don't let that put you off. Unless I'm mistaken, English has had
/dZ/ for some time (in words like 'bridge' < _bricg_, though I think the
OE <cg> was a voiced palatal stop originally?) and took some time to
Or it may always do [t_j] > [tS] > [S]. I'm sure someone can come up
with an example of that. I know French did [tS] > [S], though it's [tS]
sound started it's life off as a [k] (but how it gets somewhere is
probably irrelevant to where it goes).
*Which makes me wonder why. Why didn't biscop become */bIZ@p/, even
allophonically? I understand long fricatives in Old English weren't
voiced, could this have been long then?
>(languages don't seem to like to have orphans in their sound inventories. But
>then again, that's just a tendency, like any language "universal").
>Really? English seems to hate this tendency, with many dialects having
/ei/ but no [e], /ou/ but no [o]. And the point about Old English above ;)
And a question related to palatisation... [ki] and [ik] in various
languages go have palatisation of the [k] to [tS], [S], [s] or similar
sounds (Old English, Italian, French, probably dozens of others I don't
know of...). This I understand to be because the frontness of the /i/
pulls the /k/ away from the back of the mouth. However, velars seems to
pull other vowels towards /i/ or /I/---OE _thenc_ became 'think',
'England' is pronounced with an /I/, enque > ink, or the fact that the
only places a /I/ is allowed in an unstressed syllable (and there it's
required, hammock /"h&mIk/) in my dialect of English is before velars
and post-alveolars (/tS, Z/ etc). I had some more examples but I've
forgotten them. Is there any reason for this? Why would a sound commit
suicide, as it were?
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